DMU celebrated for contributing to the UK's creative excellence

Oscar-winning special FX (effects) artist and De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate Ben Frost has been recognised as one of the UK’s greatest creative hits, alongside BAFTA-winning film writers, award-winning children’s authors, and global rockstars.  

Ben, who graduated from DMU with a BA in Multimedia Design in 2005, has been nominated as one of more than 100 “Creative Sparks” from UK universities who are being honoured to showcase the importance of the creative industries and to celebrate the immense contribution of UK universities to the sector.  

DMU alumnus Ben Frost 

The nomination comes as new research conducted by Savanta ComRes for Universities UK shows that UK parents are strongly in favour of university creative courses, with more than two thirds (69%) saying that creative courses are vital for powering the UK’s creative industries and nearly two thirds (65%) saying that they benefit the UK economy.  

But there are fears that this contribution could now be under threat, with two thirds (67%) of UK parents acknowledging that creative industries have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic.  

In response, Universities UK has launched the Creative Sparks #MadeAtUni campaign to showcase the creativity found at UK universities like DMU and to encourage the government to promote and support the importance of creativity and creative courses.  

Made at Uni Creative Sparks logo

Alistair Jarvis CBE, Chief Executive, Universities UK said: “Universities are places where creative ideas flourish, where innovation happens, and where businesses employing thousands of people are started. They’re where the nation’s creative sparks are ignited.”  

While working as Head of Effects for Walt Disney Animation Studios for many years, Ben won not one, not two, but three (!) Oscars for his work on Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.  

He previously said that his time at DMU contributed to his career path and that the vast topics he was able to cover while studying allowed him to “make informed decisions” about his future. 

Dr Sarah Jones, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media at DMU, said: “We are very proud that Ben has been recognised as part of this campaign. He is just one example of how our university is helping to produce the much-needed talent, innovation, and skills required for the UK’s creative industries to prosper and for the nation to recover post-pandemic.”  

Other Creative Sparks include:     

  • Greg Davies – Brunel University alumni, comedian and actor 
  • Keith Chapman – Norwich University of the Arts alumni, creator of Bob the Builder and PAW Patrol  
  • Cressida Cowell MBE – University of Oxford alumni, author of How to Train Your Dragon  
  • Laura Mvula – Birmingham City University alumni, musician  
  • Roger Waters and Nick Mason, Pink Floyd – University of Westminster alumni, musicians   
  • Ruth Wilson – University of Nottingham alumni, actress best known for The Affair, Luther, His Dark Materials, and Mrs Wilson   
  • Nish Kumar – Durham University alumni, comedian and presenter  
  • Krysty Wilson-Cairns – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alumni, co-writer of BAFTA winning movie 1917  
  • Lisa McGee – Queens University Belfast alumni, screenwriter of Derry Girls 
  • Steven Knight – UCL alumni, writer and creator of BBC Two’s Peaky Blinders  

You can find out more about the #MadeatUni Creative Sparks campaign here. You can also follow the campaign on the #MadeatUni Twitter and Facebook.

Posted on Thursday 13th January 2022

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